Municipal Software CUBIC 16 Release Updates
19 min read Newsletter 106, CUBIC, Release

Municipal Software CUBIC 16 Release Updates

Check out the latest CUBIC has to offer in the recent update.
Municipal Software CUBIC 16 Release Updates

CUBIC 16.0 was released to our customers in December2019. The 16 Release is chock full of improvements throughout. You can find all the details in the 16 Release Letter (also posted under the video) as well as the release video.

CUBIC 16 Release Overview

The CUBIC v16 Release is loaded with new features, improvements, and refinements.  These changes have come from the Annual Survey, technology advances, and requests submitted throughout the year.  Our goal in updating CUBIC is to keep the product technically state-of-the-art, more efficient, and more pleasing to use. Below are highlights of the major changes and new features found in CUBIC v16.

1.      Customer Maintenance.  There have been numerous enhancements made to Customer Maintenance, they are as follows:

  • There is now the ability to store additional addresses for a customer.  This could be used to store “snow bird” addresses.  There is now an Additional Addresses button next to the Show on Map button that is attached to the Billing Address1 and Owner Address1 fields.  A customer can have up to 99 additional addresses.  When the Additional Addresses button is pressed, a window is displayed showing all of the additional addresses available for the customer.  The user will have the ability to add, edit, view, and delete addresses.  They will also be able to move addresses up and down in the list.  There is also an Assign function available that when pressed will assign the selected additional address to either the billing or owner address depending on which Additional Address button was pressed.  If the Additional Address button was pressed on the Billing Information tab, the Assign function will assign the selected additional address to the billing address but before it is assigned, the additional addresses will be checked to see if the current billing address is in the additional addresses and if a complete match is not found, the user will have the ability to have the current billing address automatically added to the additional addresses.  If the Additional Address button was pressed on the Owner Information tab, the Assign function will assign the selected additional address to the owner address but before it is assigned, the additional addresses will be checked to see if the current owner address is in the additional addresses and if a complete match is not found, the user will have the ability to have the current owner address automatically added to the additional addresses.  Changes to the customer’s additional addresses will also be logged in the Customer Change History.  When viewing the Customer Change History, there is a new Additional Address Changes tab which shows the additional address changes.  Note that when a customer copy is performed, the customer’s additional addresses will be copied if either the Billing Personal Information or Owner Personal Information options are selected.  Note also that the Additional Addresses functionality has also been added to the Synchronize Billing Information and Synchronize Owner Information functions.  Therefore, the base customer’s additional addresses will be synchronized when these functions are performed and the user also has the ability to add, edit, view, delete, assign, move up and move down additional addresses before performing the synchronization.
  • A new Multi-Property Information tab has been added to the Customer screen.  The Multi-Property Account checkbox has been moved to this tab and the new Multi-Property ID field is there also.  There is the ability to search for a Multi-Property ID or the ability to create a Multi-Property ID.  Once a Multi-Property ID is entered, the Multi-Property information is listed below on the screen.  If a customer is marked as a Multi-Property Account, a label will be displayed on the Billing Information tab below the Shut-Off checkbox.
  • A new Date Created field has been added to Customer Maintenance on the Service Information tab.  When a customer is added, this new date will automatically be populated with the current date.  This date is able to be changed by the user.
  • Seven new Custom Alphanumeric fields have been added for a total of 17.
  • A Projected Account Balance field has been added to the Calculate Projected Penalty window.  The Projected Account Balance field shows the projected penalty amount added to the customer’s account balance.
  • A Receives Refund option has been added to the Billing Information tab in Customer Maintenance to mark whether the Tenant or Owner receives the refund.  Who is set to receive refunds will also show on the Customer List when the Bill To Data is selected to appear on the report.
  • A Work Orders button has been added to the Work Orders tab that will allow the user to jump directly to Work Order Maintenance.  The Work Orders button will not be enabled if the user has no permissions for Work Orders Maintenance.  This could be useful to see what appointment times are available when determining an appointment time for a new Work Order.
  • Two additional ACH Comment lines have been added to the Automatic Payment tab in Customer Maintenance.  The additional ACH Comment fields will also show on the Customer List when the Automatic Payments Data is selected to appear on the report.
  • The Meter Number search has been changed to now include Serial Number and Transponder Number fields in the grid.  The Serial Number search has been change to now include the Meter Number and Transponder Number fields in the grid.  The Transponder Number search has been changed to now include the Meter Number and Serial Number in the grid.
  • A Remove Exempt function has been added to Customer Maintenance which gives the user the ability to remove the exempt settings for multiple customers at once based on selected ranges.  The user first defines the ranges and selects which exempt option they want to remove.  Then the user is presented with a list of the customers or services which met the range conditions.  Then the user can select which of the customers or services in the list to have the exempt setting turned off.
  • The Print Customer Statement button on the Customer’s screen has been changed to be a Statement button.  When the Statement button is pressed, a drop menu will display with the options of Print Statement and E-Mail Statement.  The E-Mail Statement option will only be enabled if the system has the Productivity module and the customer is able to have a customer statement e-mailed to them.  When the Print Statement option is selected, the Customer Statement Print will be called like it was when the button was just the Print Customer Statement button. When the E-Mail Statement option is selected, the Send E-Customer Statements will be called with the customer’s book and account filled into the customer range fields.

2. Multi-Property Maintenance.  The way that Multi-Property Bills are handled in the system has been changed.  Now, instead of using the Billing Information Social Security Number as the link for Multi-Property customers, a new Multi-Property ID has been added to link the customers.  In order to best manage these customers, a new Multi-Property Maintenance program has been added.  In this area, you specify the ID, Name, Address Information, Additional Addresses, SSN, Drivers Licenses, Birth Date, Phone Numbers, E-Mail and Comment for the property.  The address information that is assigned here is the information that will now print on all the individual bills and the combined Multi-Property bill.  On the detail screen, there is also a grid that lists all of the customers that are assigned to this Multi-Property ID.  The grid lists the Book, Account, Service Address, Balance, Status, Customer Type, Property Type and Last Bill Due Date. There is also a field on the screen that lists the total balance of all the associated accounts.  If the user has permissions, there is also the ability to View or Edit the selected customer along with quick access to Customer Maintenance.  On the main Maintenance screen there are also options to print the Multi-Property Report and an ID Change.  When the ID Change is processed, it will change the ID along with the ID assigned to all customers.  During the 16.0 conversion, the Multi-Property file gets automatically created from the Social Security Number of customers that are flagged as Multi-Property.  The detail that gets assigned to the ID comes from the Billing Information from the first customer it finds.  A Synchronize ACH button is on the main menu screen for users with the Productivity Module. When this option is selected, the ACH information for the first customer with the Multi-Property ID will be loaded into the screen.  A grid also lists all of the customers associated with the Multi-Property ID along with their ACH information.  Once the information at the top of the screen is updated, the user has the ability to select which customers in the grid should get updated with the new ACH information.  This gives the user the ability to change or add ACH information to customers along with the ability to turn off ACH for customers.  The customer change log will also be updated for any changes that are made during the Synchronize ACH.

3. Customer List.  There have been a few changes to the Customer List, they are as follows:

  • A new Multi-Property checkbox has been added to the “Data To Be Printed” area.  When this box is checked, a line will now print specifically for the Multi-Property Information.  If the Multi-Property checkbox for the customer is checked and a Multi-Property ID is entered, additional Multi-Property information will also print on the report along with phone number and additional address information.
  • When printing the Service Address Data on the report, a new line has been added under the line that starts with City.  This new line now contains the Latitude and Longitude along with the new Date Created field.
  • A new Additional Address Data checkbox has been added to the “Data To Be Printed” area.  When this box is checked, the customer’s additional addresses will print on the report. There is also a preference for the new Additional Address Data option.

4. Customer Labels.  A new Manually Select Labels to Print option has been added.  When this option is selected, the user will be taken to a screen showing all labels that will be printed and the user has the ability to further select which labels should print.  This has been added to both the laser labels and dot-matrix labels.

5. Change Customer Address.  An additional option has been added to the Addresses to Change in the Change Customer Address function that is located on the File|Utilities menu.  When the Additional option is selected, the customer’s additional addresses will be checked to see if the Address1 meets the conditions to be changed.

6. Send E-Customer Statement.  There is now the ability to email a PDF version of the Customer Statement to customers.  The system must have the Productivity module to be able to send E‑Customer Statements. The e-mail information for the e-customer statements must be setup in System Controls.  It’s setup by clicking on the E-Customer Statement Information button on the Features tab.  This is where the senders E-Mail information is entered and the information that is included on the e-mail is setup.  There is also an option to not embed fonts in the PDF that is created.  When this box is unchecked, the PDF will be smaller, but depending on the computer that the pdf is opened on, the fonts on the customer statement may not look correct and if the system is setup to Print Customer Barcodes, the customer barcode will not be printed on the customer statement PDF if the fonts are not embedded since the font used to produce the customer barcode would not exist on a customer’s computer.  The Send E-Customer Statements program has a Task Pane item on the Customers Task Pane.  It also has a menu item on the Customers menu.  The program gives the user options similar to the customer statement print to select which statements will get e-mailed.  Only customers with e-mail accounts assigned in the Customer E-Mail or Owner E-Mail fields can have the customer statements e-mailed to them. Multiple e-mail accounts separated by a semi-colon in these fields are supported.  After entering the ranges on the Send E-Customer Statements options screen and selecting OK, a screen is then displayed listing all of the e-mail accounts that will receive an e‑customer statement e-mail.  There is an option to Select Accounts Receiving Notifications. When this option is selected, the user can manually select or unselect e-mail accounts that will receive an e‑customer statement e‑mail.  Once the Send E-Mails button is pressed, the e-mails will be sent and a log will be generated listing all of the e-mails that were sent and this will also indicate any that were not sent because of an error.

7. Route List.  A new Sequence option has been added to the Route List that allows the report to be printed in either Book/Acct or Read Sequence order.  When the Book/Acct sequence is selected, the Route List will be printed in the same format and order that it always has.  When the Read Sequence sequence is selected, the Route List will print in order of the service’s handheld read sequence that appears in the General Information area of the Handheld Information tab on the Service Information window in Customer Maintenance.  The layout of the report will also be different when the Read Sequence option is selected since each service will be its own record on the report instead of being grouped by book/acct.  Also note that when the Read Sequence option is selected, the option to “Include customers that only have unmetered services” will be disabled because unmetered services do not have a handheld read sequence field and therefore cannot appear on the report when executed in Read Sequence order.  A default for the Route List Sequence can also be set on the Controls tab in System Controls.  An option has also been added to the Route List to return to the report options screen once the report has finished printing.

8. Billing Entry.  There have been a couple changes to Billing Entry, they are as follows:

  • When editing bills, there is now the ability to go to the Next or Previous Bill.  This is accomplished by pressing the Next and Previous buttons or the Page Up and Page Down buttons on the keyboard.
  • When pressing the “Service” button inside of Billing Entry, the program now shows all of the available service information instead of just the rate information.  The information on the screen is now the same as the user would see when viewing the service in Customer Maintenance.  There is the ability to view the Rate Information and for metered services, access to Meter Information, Usage, Graph and Handheld information.

9. Changeouts.  There have been a couple of changes to Changeouts

  • When adding a changeout to the system, there is now the ability to have the system estimate the new reading for the old meter.  This could possibly be needed if the old meter had gone bad and no valid reading was able to be recorded.  When entering the old meter new reading, there is a new “Estimate” checkbox next to the reading field.  When no new reading is entered and the box is checked, the system will generate the estimate.  The first step of the estimation is to determine if any proration needs to occur. A proration screen will display prompting the user to indicate that proration is needed, and if so, the user will need to enter the days in the billing cycle and days of service.  The days in the billing cycle will be pulled forward from the Days in Billing Cycle in the proration area in System controls. Once this information is entered, the system will generate the proration percentage.  The system will then calculate the estimated reading the way that it’s setup to do.  After the estimated consumption is computed, the consumption will be multiplied by the proration percentage to get a new consumption.  This consumption will then get added to the old meter’s old reading to calculate the old meter new reading.  This calculated new reading can be overridden if need be.  The user can also enter their own estimated reading and check the box to indicate that it was estimated.  The only time that the estimated calculation will occur is if there is no reading in the old meter new reading field.  In Billing Entry, in the grid that lists the detail of the billed services, if the old meter new reading is marked as an estimate, an orange “E” will be displayed in the grid next to the reading.  This same orange “E” will also be displayed in the Bill Pay History billed items grid and on the Service Information Usage tab next to the New Changeout Read field.  An “E” will also show on the Billing Edit List and Billing Journal next to the Changeout New Reading field.  Please note, that estimating the old meter’s new reading does not flag the entire bill as an estimate, it only flags the old meter new reading as estimated.
  • When performing a changeout, either through Billing Entry or in Work Order Maintenance, there is now the ability to change the Serial Number. For users with Meter Maintenance, the Serial Number associated with the meter will be shown on the Changeout screens. During the 16.0 conversion, the Billing file and Work Order files will get the new Serial Number field populated from the current Serial Number assigned to the service, except for users with Meter Maintenance.  These users will have the new Serial Number populated from the Meter Maintenance file.

10.  Usage Analysis Report.  A new Usage Analysis Report has been added to the system.  This report is similar to the High/Low Use Report but is based off of bills that are pending update.  This program allows the user to adjust the over and under percentages to determine which customers show on the report.  There are also options to compare the current usage to the past two billing periods or the previous 2 years, same month.  *Note that changes to the percentages on this report does not affect the high/low indicator on the bill.

11.  Bill Print.  The Multi-Property Bills area of the options screen has changed.  The system now requires that Multi-Property Bills must be processed separately from regular bills.  To accommodate this, the check boxes for “Only Print Multi-Property Bills” and “Exclude Multi-Property Bills” have been changed to Radio Buttons.  When the “Only Print Multi-Property Bills” is selected, a new Multi-Property ID Range will be enabled with search options.  This allows for a range of Multi-Property ID’s to be printed.  The program was also changed so that all of the individual bills for a Multi-Property will come out grouped together in Book/Account order.  They will also all have the same address as defined in the Multi-Property account.  The actual printed Multi-Property bill has also been changed to now print the Multi-Property ID at the top of the bill instead of the Book and Account number. The Book and Account number for the associated properties will still print on the bill.  This new Multi-Property ID is what will be used when processing a payment.  *For users who use Crystal Reports to print the Multi-Property Bill, they will want to change the stub portion of the bill to now include the MP-BILL-ID field. **Due to no longer printing the book/account on the bill, the customer barcode is no longer included on the bill.

12.  Bill Print-to-File. The Social Security Number field has been changed to Multi-Property ID.  The documentation has been updated to reference this change.  The field is in the same location and the same size as the SSN, so no changes will need to be made from the print services other than to the documentation.  However, they might want to modify their bill print to now include the Multi-Property ID on the forms if they already do not have it.

13.  CASS Certification.  A new option has been added to the Export screen to now include the Multi-Property Addresses.  There is also a Multi-Property ID Range option on the Export screen.  The Import program has also been modified to now change the Multi-Property address information.

14.  High/Low Use Report.  The program has been changed so that percentages are only enabled for the service types that the user has, all other services will be disabled.  The headings have also been changed so that the percentages will only print for service types the user has.  The detail lines have also been changed to now include either an “H” or an “L” after the current usage field to indicate if it is a High or Low usage.

15.  Top Usage/Charges Report.  A Top Usage/Charges Report has been added to the system that allows the user to print a list of the top customer accounts for a selected due date range for a specific metered service type.  The user defines the number of top customers to list on the report with a maximum of 999,999 top customers.  The report can be printed for customers with the Top Usage, Top Charges, Top Average Usage, or Top Average Charges.  If the report is being printed for either Top Usage or Top Average Usage, the billed usage will be multiplied by the rate’s charge/usage factor to normalize the usage before determining the customer’s ranking.  The customer’s ranking will appear on the report and the customers will be listed in highest to lowest order.  The Top Usage/Charges Report has a Task Pane item on the Customers Task Pane. It also has a menu item on the Customers|Reports menu.  The user can also setup preferences for the report.  The report can also be sent to Excel if the system has the Data Dictionary module.

16.  Penalty Billing.  A Print button has been added to the penalty preview window that will print the Penalty Preview List which is a report of all of the penalties shown in the grid on the penalty preview window.

17.  Simple Batch Payment Posting/Batch Receipts Posting. A Change Pay Type function has been added that gives the user the ability to change the pay type for a group of payments.  The Change Batch ID button has been changed to a Change button that when pressed will show drop-down options of Batch ID and Pay Type.

18.  Batch Receipts Posting/Receipts Posting.  When pressing the “Service” button inside of the Receipt Posting programs, it now shows all of the available service information instead of just the rate information.  The information on the screen is now the same as the user would see when viewing the service in Customer Maintenance.  There is the ability to view the Rate Information and for metered services, access to Meter Information, Usage, Graph and Handheld information.

19.  Simple Batch Payments.  The entry of Multi-Property Payments has been changed to work with the new Multi-Property ID that has been added to the system.  Now when a Multi-Property payment is entered, the user has the ability to enter in the Multi-Property ID or to use the Book and Account fields. When the user uses the Multi-Property ID option, the program will list any customer with the Multi-Property ID that has a transaction that falls within the Due/Adjustment Date Range that has a balance.  When the Book/Account option is used, the program will find the Multi-Property ID assigned to the customer and load all other customers with the same ID that fall within the date range and have a balance.

20.  Simple Batch Payment Update/Batch Receipts Update.  Preferences have been added to the Batch Update programs for the Agency Range, Terminal ID Range, User Initials Range and the transaction types.

21.  Refunds/Bulk Refunds.  The Refund programs have been changed to look at the new customer option of who receives refunds to determine if the tenant (billing information) or owner (owner information) will be used for the refund.  When tenant is set to receive refunds, the billing information will be used for the name and address that appears on the Refund Transaction Log and in the Refund Transaction Log Reprint and they will also be sent to BUCS if the system is set to use BUCS to produce the refund checks.  When owner is set to receive refunds, the owner information will be used for the name and address that appears on the Refund Transaction Log and in the Refund Transaction Log Reprint and they will also be sent to BUCS if the system is set to use BUCS to produce the refund checks.  Note that on the Refunds window and the Refunds Posted During This Session window, the customer’s name will still always show as the billing information name.

22.  Payment Assistance Refunds.  Payment Assistance Refunds has been changed so that if the BUCS Invoice Payable To option is set to CUBIC Customer, the new customer option of who receives refunds will be looked at to determine if the tenant (billing information) or owner (owner information) will be used for the refund.  When tenant is set to receive refunds, the billing information will be used for the name and address that is sent to BUCS to produce the refund checks. When owner is set to receive refunds, the owner information will be used for the name and address that is sent to BUCS to produce the refund checks.

23.  Work Orders.  There have been a couple of enhancements to Work Orders, they are as follows:

  • An option has been added to Security for users that are setup as work order technicians to “Check For Today’s Appointments at Login”. This new option is only enabled if the Work Order Technician option is selected.  When the “Check For Today’s Appointments at Login” option is selected, when the user logs into CUBIC, the system will check to see if there are any issued status work orders with an appointment date of the current date with the user assigned as the technician and if there are, the Work Order Appointments window will be displayed showing all of the issued status work orders for that user for that day.
  • When accessing a Work Order, there is a new Service Information button next to the service detail information.  When this button is pressed, the screen that is shown is the same as the View Services inside of Customer Maintenance.  There is the ability to view the Rate Information and for metered services, access to Meter Information, Usage, Graph and Handheld information.

24.  Work Order Print/E-Mail.  A new option has been added to suppress the grid lines in the Comments and/or Resolution Comments on the Statement and New Statement forms along with the E-Mailed Work Order.  The option to turn the grid lines on or off is located in System Controls on the Work Orders tab.

25.  Work Order Form E-Mail.  An option has been added to the E-Work Order Information window in System Controls to “Append Service Address to subject”.  When this option is selected, the customer’s service address 1 will be appended to the subject the user defined for the email.  It will be formatted as “Subject – SERVICE ADDRESS 1”. Note that the Subject field is a 256 character field.  If the subject the user enters combined with the service address will be longer than 256 characters, the service address will be truncated.

26.  E-Mails.  There has been an option added to the E-Mails throughout the system to set the e-mail to “High Importance”.  These E-Mails are ACH E-Mail, Send E-Bill Notifications, Send E-Customer Statements, Send E-Delinquent Notices and Work Order Form E-Mail.  Since the e-mails were already being sent with high importance, this option will be turned on during the conversion.  If the user does not want these e-mails to be sent with high importance, they just need to turn the option off in their individual setup area in System Controls, and the e-mails will be sent with normal importance.

27.  Bulk E-Mail.  The “Mail” program located off of the “File” menu has been changed to a “Bulk E-Mail” and there is a submenu with “Customer Bulk E-Mail” and a new “Multi-Property Bulk E-Mail” menu options.  The Customer Bulk E-Mail calls the same program that the “Mail” menu item called in previous versions.

28.  Multi-Property Bulk E-Mail.  A new Multi-Property Bulk E-Mail program has been created to allow for Bulk E-Mail to multiple Multi-Property ID’s via one e-mail.  It works the same way as the pre-existing Customer Bulk E-Mail program.

29.  Images.  The Image fields throughout the system have been changed to allow for files with the extension of .eml or .msg.  These are formats for saved E-mails.  When an image with one of these two extension types is selected, the program will use the system default application for files with these extensions to view the file.

30.  System.  Menu and Search grids have been changed throughout the system to now have an additional 5 rows of results in the grid.  This will allow for more items to be seen on the screen at one time.

31.  Backup/Restore.  The windows for the backup and restore have been widened to allow for the path field to be made longer.  This will allow for more of the path to be visible when selecting where to backup to or to restore from.

We at Frey Municipal Software would like to thank everyone who responded to the CUBIC survey and the beta testing of the product.  The ideas and suggestions that we receive from our users are the driving force behind the changes that are implemented into CUBIC.